What does the 2015 NFL Draft positional depth mean for the Jets?

Amari Cooper

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Last year, I had fun with Excel pivot tables and came up with a graphical representation of where the draft class had or lacked depth. I used the same method as last year to display how the 2015 NFL Draft projects. To come up with the list, I used the CBS Sports top 1000 prospect list and filtered it down to just the top 256 players; those that might be drafted in before the end of the seventh round. This gives a look at how many players at a given position might be drafted in any given round. Read more about how this started in 2014 in this post.

The setup:
First off, let me be clear that no draft board is set up this way. But since we have no way to know how the Jets are setting up their board, all we can do is try to take some of the guesswork out of how it might look. Thus this article.

This year, the Jets have the “fortune” of drafting early in each of the rounds that they currently hold draft picks. It is common sense, but this means that New York could have their pick of the litter from any given positional group in a round with the added benefit of better players from their board sliding to them from the prior round for their selections in the second, third, fourth and seventh rounds. After what I saw last season? I’ll happily take it.

Here are the results with a color coded “heat map” to demonstrate higher/lower frequencies of players in a given round. After the jump I’ve added some conclusions and how it pertains to the New York Jets come April 24-26 based on their current slotted picks. Also as a bonus, there’s an even more detailed breakdown of position depth of the first four rounds.

draft-depth-2015

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Jets sign ILB Mays

The Jets have signed inside linebacker Joe Mays, the team announced.

Mays (5’11”, 244) is beginning his eighth NFL season and the Jets are his fifth team. Last season he had 17 tackles in eight games for Kansas City with three starts, all at RILB. He was on the field for 116 defensive plays and 86 special teams plays.

Mays is coming off a 2014 season with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he played in eight games — three starts — with 16 tackles. Mays suffered an injury in the final preseason game, which landed him on the injured reserve for half the season last year.

A former Eagle, Bronco, Texan and Chief, Mays has 181 total tackles in his seven year career, with 1.5 sacks, six passes defended and one forced fumble.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Inside linebacker is a position that has very little depth in the 2015 NFL Draft class and with just six selections this year the Jets are giving themselves the luxury of not needing to use a draft pick there.  With a new front office and coaching staff, the Jets must be more concerned about Harris’s durability than the previous regime to have signed both Joe Mays and Erin Henderson.  I would be shocked if both players make the 53 man roster come September, so I’ll be paying attention to how this battle plays out during training camp.
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Jets officially ink Stevan Ridley

The Jets have officially announced the signing of running back Stevan Ridley.

The deal is for one year, according to reporter Manish Mehta (April 8).

Ridley, from LSU, becomes the second player to leave the Patriots and join the Jets, following cornerback Darrelle Revis.

Ridley, who also visited the Redskins and Dolphins, among others, joins the Jets running back corps of Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell.

Ridley, 26, rushed for over 2,800 yards over four seasons with the New England Patriots, including 1,263 in 2012. Last season, he had 94 rushes for 340 yards in six games before his season was ended by a torn ACL against the Bills in October. He ran for two touchdowns and caught four passes for 20 yards.

Ridley has already inked his allegiance to his new team with a tattoo on his forearm.


Read more: Scouting Stevan Ridley

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Some reporters seem bullish on Ridley’s chances of making the September roster over Chris Ivory, but I’m not buying it as I didn’t two years ago when some thought Bilal Powell was expendable.  I will wait until I see what the Jets do in the NFL Draft before I make my mind up on who will be on or off the fall roster.  Ridley might have more upside, but just five months off an ACL tear seems a dubious timeline for him to come in and oust Chris Ivory off the 2015 roster. Ivory might not be a perfect fit for the new Chan Gailey offense, Gailey has demonstrated that he can find ways to effectively use the talent he has on the roster.  Ivory has proven to be more durable than anticipated and he’s demonstrated he can be an efficient battering ram when needed.

Jets Draft Prospects: DE/OLB Dante Fowler

Dante Fowler

In the lead up to the NFL Draft, we will be examining players which the Jets might consider taking within the first two days of the Draft. Today’s article focuses on Florida DE/LB Dante Fowler, Jr.. Fowler’s heart and effort might be bigger than his metrics … but how will his versatility project in the NFL?

Dante Fowler, Jr.
Florida, Defensive End / Outside Linebacker
Height: 6’3″ Weight: 261 BMI: 32.6

College Career:
Fowler was a highly touted recruit out of St. Petersburg Florida for Will Muschamp’s 2012 recruiting class.  Known for his sound character and leadership, Fowler was named an SEC rookie team member in 2012 before becoming a starter in 2013.  Fowler earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week award against Tennessee that year, the best offensive line he faced all season.  Fowler recorded 50 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in 2013, his first year as a starter.  In his final season at Florida, Fowler was named team captain before earning first-team All-SEC honors and was a Walter Camp second-team selection. He led the Gators defenders with 15 tackles for loss, 17 quarterback hurries and 8.5 sacks.

Strengths:
Fowler possesses a well-built athletic frame with decent arm length, but is not necessarily a physical specimen. During his time at Florida, Fowler lost 25 pounds, which has added to his explosion in space, but which also had him learning to play a different brand of football.  Fowler has light feet and fluidity that surprise opponents with his compact power, but he does need to add leg strength in an NFL weight room prior to his second NFL season.  Fowlers has displayed strong hands and good technique in arm extension to set the edge.  He uses his arms well to get over on lineman who lunge too far.  Fowler is agreed to have an incredible motor;  he is an energetic defender with good quickness off the snap and athleticism to make him tough to block in space.  Fowler displays range in his front-side or back-side pursuit.  He has fluid hips and feet to change direction which is demonstrated in his ability chase play-side ball carriers to sideline with little angle.

The reason that Fowler projects as a top five selection is his versatility. The Gators lined Fowler up at RDE, LDE, DT, OLB and ILB based on the situation.  He was required to rush from a two-point and three-point stance as well as drop him into coverage, regardless of whether he started in a two or three point stance.  Best suited for a 3-4 base defense as a backside edge-disruptor.  Has improved his spin move to counter stalled high-side rushes, he can dip and turn the corner against tackles that play too high. His best move is a stunt or slant move to the inside with excellent quickness.

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Jets Nation: Nick Folk and his family

SNY’s Jeane Coakley takes a look at the family life of Jets kicker Nick Folk and how he manages a set of twins along with his work routine.

Revis says Instagram was hacked

Jets CB Darrelle Revis said his Instagram was hacked, following a string of nasty comments directed at the New England Patriots fans upset he’d turned to the Jets this offseason (Daily News, April 12).

In the comments section of a photo he posted from the Barclays Center on Saturday, the allegedly hacked Revis account, revislandtwo4,  wrote, ““S–t I didn’t have to go there so basically I did bill & Tom a favor not the other way around (expletive).”

That was hardly the only expletive comment, but hours later, Revis took to Twitter to clarify, “My IG got hacked. No big deal!!!”